“Our Father” – the Lord’s template for our prayers

By Katrina Jenkins, Member at The Angel Church

‘Our Father’ or ‘the Lord’s prayer’ (found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11) is a commonly known prayer and one that we often use when we don’t yet have confidence to pray anything else. There’s nothing wrong with praying this prayer and everything right about it. Jesus’ disciples must have heard Jesus pray and, though they were no stranger to Judaic prayers, they asked our Lord, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). 

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What a wonderful request! 

And so, we have the Lord’s prayer – God the Son, who came down to earth to save us, teaching us how to commune with our Father in Heaven. 

There are many verses in the Bible that teach us about prayer. But the prayer that Jesus taught us provides us with the perfect template that we can apply into our own lives. From this template, we can compose our own unique prayers to God, which we can use in any situation – trial or thanksgiving – that we are bringing to Almighty God. 

Let’s explore Jesus’ template for prayer in more detail, divided into six parts. We’ll find other scriptures in the Bible that also enhance our understanding of prayer and communion with God. 

Part 1. Calling out to God by Name, and putting ourselves in proper position to Him

“Our Father, who art in Heaven”

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We begin prayer by addressing God directly, with deference, humbly and in proper relationship with Him. We recognise His loving relationship with us, His care for us, as the only perfect Father we will ever have. We acknowledge our Heavenly Father’s position over all things that have been created.

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8: 14-15)

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His Name. (John 1:12) 

“And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:18)

”Halllowed be Thy Name”

Our prayer continues by praising and glorifying the Father, as is His due. The term ‘hallowed’ means revered or holy. In this phrase, we acknowledge God’s perfection, His holiness. Even His Name is Holy, which is why we are commanded not to use His Name in vain. God, alone, is Holy and worthy of all praise. 

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him and bless His Name. (Psalm 100:4) 

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your Name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness! (Psalm 115:1)

Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

Part 2. Yielding in submission to God’s perfect will

“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven”

Before making our requests known to God, we humbly submit to His perfect will for our lives. The Lord God is sovereign. He already knows what we need and what will be good for us – He is our loving Father after all. For this reason, we seek His will for us. His will is done perfectly in Heaven. We ask for His will to be perfectly done in our lives too, and therein find blessings and peace and joy. Even Jesus – God the Son – submitted to the will of God the Father as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, before He made His ultimate sacrifice for our salvation. How much more should we seek the Father’s will for our own lives!  

“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

“For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38) 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) 

Part 3. Daily seeking God’s provision and blessing

”Give us this day our daily bread”

After calling out to God by Name, and seeking His will first and foremost, we present our requests to God. We know this is a prayer we can use every day, because we are taught to seek daily bread. This reminds us that our very life and breath depends on God’s provision. As His children, we humbly rely on Him for our daily provision of sustenance, protection and care. We can ask, with confidence, for God’s provision knowing that He desires to grant us our requests and fulfil our needs. 

“Let us then, with confidence, draw near to the Throne of Grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) 

The Feast of Unleavened Bread vs. Passover: What's the Difference? – Hebrew  Roots Mom

Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) 

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)  

It should not be lost on us believers in Christ – who live in a post-resurrection world – that after giving us this prayer template, Jesus gave His own life for our salvation. Recall ‘the last supper’ in which our Lord compared His body to the bread they shared (“Take, eat, this is my body” Matthew 26:26) during the Passover meal with His disciples, just before He took all of our sins upon Himself and suffered until death.  On another occasion, Jesus also called Himself the life-sustaining Bread of Life. 

Then Jesus declared, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry.” (John 6: 35) 

When we ask for “our daily bread”, we can think of our physical provision and needs. We can also be reminded of our daily need for Christ as our Bread of Life.

Part 4. Seeking God’s forgiveness and moral law in our lives

”Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”

Next in our prayer template, we confess our sins, acknowledging our own wrongdoing. We commit to applying God’s perfect moral law in our lives, including seeking justice which does not change from person to person (Romans 2:11) and which is based on principles of mercy and compassion – forgiveness. We can see in other scriptures that our adherence to God’s law of forgiveness is what gives us confidence in seeking His forgiveness. We are not holy. We are sinners. As such, we should see the value of forgiving and being forgiven. God is Holy. He needs no one’s forgiveness. He’s never sinned, nor will He ever be anything other than perfect. He, alone, is perfect. And yet, He offers forgiveness – but He requires that we also forgive others in order that we can receive His Holy forgiveness. Not only does he promise to forgive us, but in His perfection and by Christ’s sacrifice, we can be cleansed of our sin and it will be removed from our lives. 

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12) 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) 

The LORD our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him. (Daniel 9:9)

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

Father, Forgive Them; For They Know Not What They Do - LDS Blogs

Christ Himself, upon the cross, asked the Father to forgive those who so cruelly beat and mocked him before taking His precious life. Such is the level of forgiveness that we are to emulate as followers of Christ.  

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34) 

The apostle Stephen, the first of Christ’s followers to be murdered for his faith, showed us by example how we can – with God’s amazing grace – also forgive with such generosity and love. He asked God to forgive his attackers even while they were stoning him to death because He professed the Gospel of Christ. 

“And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:60)

Part 5. Rightly asking for God’s righteousness and protection

”Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”

We ask God for His holiness and grace to keep us moral, so that we can walk the strait and narrow (Matthew 7:14). We seek His help in staying clear of the path of destruction which we naturally tend towards without God’s saving grace. In this phrase, we acknowledge that we can do nothing good or righteous without God’s help, neither can we be safe from the attacks of the evil one without God’s refuge. But God’s grace is sufficient and His power is perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6)

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His Heavenly Kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18) 

Timothy’s prayer follows the next step in Jesus’ perfect prayer template: we exalt the Father for all His glory and majesty, and recognise His eternal nature! 

Part 6. Rightly exalting our King and Lord for all eternity

”For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen”

We exalt our Lord, Most High God, acknowledging and rejoicing in His sovereignty. We rejoice because He is all-powerful and mighty, yet He chooses to love us, to save us, though He is so very far above us. He is King of all kings, above all lords and He can never be defeated. The Majesty Himself, All-powerful, Creator of all things – loves and cares for us. He deserves all praise and exaltation. He doesn’t need our praise. We glory in His Glory – it is our benefit and privilege to know Him. The scriptures show us that our natural response to knowing God is awe, praise and glorifying Him for His wondrous love and eternal power as our Creator. All of creation showcases His majesty and beauty. Recognizing the eternal nature of God our Father also reminds us that we, too, have an eternal nature in Him as His children. 

“The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.” (Psalm 93:1) 

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2:14) 

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1) 

“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as Head over all.” (1 Chronicles 19:11) 

“Around God is awesome majesty.” (Job 37:22) 

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The Psalms are just full of the praises of God’s glory and majesty. When we can’t find our own words, we can read aloud the wonderful Psalms in worship and praise for God’s Kingdom that will never end. There are many ready-made prayers in the Psalms, such as Psalm 4

Elsewhere, the Bible gives us a picture of our Father in Heaven. The Book of Revelation (in the New Testament) tells us of the Throne of Heaven, as does the Book of Ezekiel (in the Old Testament). These are terrific and terrifying visual descriptions of God’s immense majesty, His perfect Holiness, His beauty, beyond what we can imagine and unlike anything on this earth.  

Revelation 4:3 describes the “appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the Throne”. In Chapter 4 of the Book of Revelation, we read that God’s Throne is surrounded by twenty-four elders and seven spirits of God, and four living creatures who are covered with eyes in front and in back, who never stop saying, day and night, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come”. (Revelation 4:8). 

Ezekiel 1 describes a similar picture of the Throne of Grace:

“Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the vault over their heads was what looks like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the Throne was a figure like that of a Man. I saw that from what appeared to be His waist up, He looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down, He looked like fire. And brilliant light surrounded Him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around Him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the Glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown…” (Ezekiel 1: 25-28). 

Reading Ezekiel’s description, I can just imagine how I, too, might react. I know I would fall on my face in awe and worship. I know I would seek His mercy and forgiveness. I know I would gaze lovingly at His awesome beauty and majesty! How else could we react to such immense power and glory? 


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When we read these descriptions, we are reminded of God’s power and just why we stand in awe when we come into His presence. We remember why we enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise. The immense awe and joy I feel when I stood, staring, across the majestic Rocky Mountains – that was  only a fraction, only a foggy reflection, of the incredible beauty and power that is our Holy God who made those mountains and everything in them, and above them. 

All descriptions of Almighty God that we find in the Bible show us that He is so far beyond what human words can capture, so we can only use the best visual language available to us to understand Who God is. 

Each description offers a glimpse into God’s nature, helping us to understand Who it is that we are speaking to. As an aside, it also highlights to me why we need Jesus to be our Mediator, to enable us to approach such Immense Holiness, in our unworthy and imperfect state – but that’s a story for another study. 

“For now we see through a glass darkly, but then, face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). We know one day, after we pass from this life into the next, we will face God and somehow try to find our own words to describe His indescribable glory. I have no doubt that we, like Ezekiel, will fall on our face in worship and awe of His perfect Holiness, His flawlessness, His absolute majesty above all things. 


Our prayers to our Father should always reflect the fact of Who He is. God is our Father. God is love (1 John 4:8). He cares for us in a personal way and there is no request too small or too complex to bring to God, even though He is so Almighty and so far above anything in heaven or earth. Even requests that we don’t have the words to – we can bring our feelings, our heavy heart, to Him, in assurance that He knows us better than we know ourselves (Jeremiah 17: 9-10). He made us, after all! 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 6-7) 

Enjoy the privilege of prayer, dear sisters and brothers in Christ. His word assures us that He wants us to pray to Him. He taught us to pray, and even how to pray. So, pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16), with confidence, expressing awe at His goodness, humbling ourselves in our need for Him in all things, and therein finding peace and strength beyond what we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). 

With love and endless prayer – because both love and prayer are gifts from our Father in heaven,


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We believe in Church-based mission

There is no model for missions in the Bible that falls out of the context of the local
church. Locally, nationally, and internationally, the mission to make disciples was the
heartbeat of healthy gatherings of believers.

Mission locally
From the Jerusalem church’s earliest days, those who repented and believed were
baptised in Jesus name into church life (Acts 2.40-41), devoting themselves to the
apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer (Acts 2.42). While mission
is regularly thought of as something we support and/or do over there, churches
cannot expect to be well used in work elsewhere that they are not first doing locally.
Our mission in disciple-making begins within our churches ensuring we ‘stir up one
another to love and good works…meet together…encouraging one another…’ in
anticipation of Jesus’ return (Hebrews 10.24-25). Others know we are Christ’s
disciples by this love for one another (John 13.35).
Local mission, however, is not simply fulfilled by loving our Lord through other
Christians. The same love must be shown to those who are not yet following Jesus.
As those in the Jerusalem church were charged with filling the city with their teaching
(Acts 5.28), such should be our goal, that no one misses out on hearing the good
news of Jesus!

Mission regionally
With the large and necessarily multi-site Jerusalem church devotion to fulfill Christ’s
commission, they accepted their responsibility to take the gospel to the surrounding
regions of Judea and Samaria. How did they accomplish this? By sending
Philip, a deacon in the Jerusalem church went to Samaria and surrounding regions,
making disciples and baptising them, having the approval, support, and
accountability from Jerusalem (Acts 8.4-25).
Slightly further afield, a church – implicitly associated with Jerusalem – had begun in
Damascus by Acts 9. It was this church in which the church persecutor Saul would
first find his place following his conversion. Eventually he was sent away for his
safety to Jerusalem where he sought to fulfill his Christian responsibilities in holding
himself accountable in the Jerusalem church (Acts 9.26)

Mission globally
As early church mission was effective locally and regionally, so also it spread
globally – through the local church and for the local church. Many disciples were
scattered away from Jerusalem by persecution, bringing the gospel to their new
cities. Through this Antioch was reached and a church was formed – itself held
accountable by the church in Jerusalem (Acts 11.19-26).

Eventually Antioch would send the aforementioned Saul and Barnabas to give relief
and aid to the Jerusalem church that was being heavily impacted by famine and later
to focused church-planting and strengthening work among Jews and Gentiles.
In the brief time span of the New Testaments’ written record we see reference to no
fewer than 33 local churches and 6 regions with multiple churches. In this we see
that mission, Biblically practiced, is based in local churches that have the purpose of
establishing, strengthening, and relieving other local churches.

Originally posted in Grace Baptist Partnership’s “News and Views”, February 2020. To subscribe, please contact gracebaptistpartnership@gmail.com


Lord, teach us to pray!

Lord, teach us to pray… Luke 11.1

Prayer is not just nice – it is necessary.

Too often prayer is viewed as some rite or ritual with little involvement or makeup. 

We may have heard of “saying our prayers” before a meal or bedtime or when we have gone into a church building. 

Other times, prayer is given some lip-service and acknowledged as important but seems all too lacking. It is an optional extra – nice but not necessary. All too often it is a brief afterthought. 

A tale of two meetings

A vivid illustration of this stands out to me. Some time back I attended a fraternal of pastors. Allegedly of like mind theologically, one might think that this would strengthen resolve and unity in prayer. Towards the end of the time it was suggested that we spend some time in prayer. It was rather bewildering when one pastor said “Do we have too? Couldn’t just one person pray?” Another seemed uncomfortable with the idea before it was uttered “It’s ok…go on then…just keep it short.” 

Some months later, I attended another meeting of some pastors many of which had different backgrounds on some secondary and tertiary issues. And yet there was a love, a unity, a friendliness, and a passion not present at the first meeting. The difference? The first 30-45 minutes was devoted exclusively to fervent prayer. Not slow, not reluctant, not overthinking, but spontaneous, eager, truly thoughtful, honest, and active. At a few points some simple choruses of praise were sung. Not announced or looked at on a sheet. Just spontaneously sung from the heart.

Model prayers

 If you are struggling to pray, if you don’t know what to say – why not approach the Lord in prayer about that? Ask as the disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Then look at the models of prayer throughout the Scriptures from the book of prayers and songs that is the Psalms to the prayers of the heavenly realm in Revelation. Jesus guides his disciples in Luke 11 saying:

When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

A simple acrostic as you learn to pray is A.C.T.S.

A = adoration. Do you love God? Then shouldn’t you express that? Shouldn’t you praise Him? Approach Him for who He is in majesty – our loving Father in Heaven – whose very name is holy!

C = confession. Everyone has thought, said, and done things that are not good when observed by God, things that are evil, that are wrong. The Bible calls this ‘sin’ and speaks of this sin as alienating us from God. But through Jesus Christ we can confess our sin to God, asking that he would forgive us while giving us an attitude of forgiveness to others.

T = thanksgiving. Just as we ask for God’s provision and protection, we acknowledge He continues to provide day by day. Have we received good things in life? Have we been helped in all situations? Do we have life? What are our blessings? Count them up and give God thanks!

S = supplication. This is basically an old-time word for ‘asking’. Prayer is petitioning God on the basis of His mercy, bringing cares and needs and desires of others and ourselves to God. Do you ask God? Do you ask God with right motives? Do you bring your cares and needs to God, knowing He cares for you?

Lord, do teach us to pray!

A Walk with God

By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.  By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Hebrews 11.4-6

You cannot walk with God when running from Him

In the beginning, immediately after mankind’s sin that results in the fall from right relationship with God (Genesis 3) there is an implication in Genesis 3.8 that it was not unusual for God to walk with Adam and Eve.  The idea of ‘walking with God’ conveys the idea of closeness, intimacy, and fellowship. After mankind’s sin, the sound of God walking causes man to run from God rather than to him. This pattern is repeated throughout the Scriptures. Cain is warned by God to not allow sin to seize him (Genesis 4). Cain murders Abel and tries to cover up his guilt without success (“Am I my brother’s keeper?). Rather than walking with God, he runs from Him and reaps the consequences.

Where others who are finally faithful fail, we see their failings accompanied by a seeming developed distance between the individual and God.

Think about a couple of familiar cases.

Samson and his conquests and exploits (not speaking so much of the battlefield as the bed here): running away from God and His way.

David and Bathsheba: David’s taking of Bathsheba follows a slow but steady regression in which David takes multiple wives (going against God’s law for kings in Deuteronomy 17.14-20) and his relationship with God seems far from close at the time. 

Solomon: Once said to be the wisest man and the writer of much of the Proverbs, Solomon foolishly took many wives who worshiped different gods. Having already begun to wander in His closeness to God, this drew him after other gods and other purposes. Ecclesiastes seems to recount the tragic and vain wanderings of Solomon to rediscover that a truly successful life is one that fears God and keeps His commands (Ecclesiastes 12.13)


While Adam was still alive, Enoch was born. It is said of Enoch in Genesis 5.21-24 that after he fathered Methuselah, he “walked with God” 300 years and then was removed from Earth in a way other than death. Not much is known about Enoch beyond this and the commentary of Hebrews 11. But we can discern from the strange name of Methuselah, which means something to the effect of “when he dies, it will come” that Enoch seems to have realised the consequences of mankind’s running from God. The year Methuselah died, the flood of Noah’s day destroyed the world. Enoch was clearly a man of prayer and in this walked with God.

Prayer is walking with God

Real and successful prayer cannot be offered to God without believing 1.) that God exists and 2.) that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. 

It is interesting how many people will suddenly pray about something they want or genuinely need, but they either 1.) don’t actually believe in God but are “just giving it [prayer] a go” or 2.) believe God is real but spend most of the time behaving as if He isn’t or doesn’t care about our action or 3.) approach God believing He is, but doubting whether or not He is good or is the giver of good things. In the first two cases, prayer should not be expected to be answered unless it a prayer of repentance and faith; God is and calls for us to acknowledge and worship Him. In the latter case, the letter of James chapter 1 says this individual shouldn’t expect anything from God because of the individual’s double-mindedness and instability in how they approach God. 

In order to truly pray you must first approach God for who He is and what He does, believing in Him as He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1.1). Walking with God and praying to Him go hand in hand.

In order to pray to God you must walk with God. In order to walk with God you must pray to God. 

Start praying!

When people first began to pray.

A son was born to Seth also, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.

When did prayer (at least to some extent, as we understand it) begin?

Communicating with God

We know from the early chapters of Genesis that Adam and Eve had a close relationship with God. They enjoyed direct communication with the Creator (Genesis 1.28-30; 2.16-17; 3). Sadly, Adam and Eve plunged humanity into a state of estrangement and alienation from God that required reconciliation through sacrifice (Genesis 4.1-4). Adam and Eve’s son Cain kills their other son Abel leading to God’s judgement on Cain which sees him torn away from his family to become a fugitive and nomad.

A New Hope?

God provides Adam and Eve with another son whom they name Seth which means ‘anointed’. His name perhaps reflects the hope that he would be the fulfilment of God’s promise to Eve that her offspring would crush the sin Serpent’s head (Genesis 3.15). But this doesn’t happen and Seth father’s a son aptly named Enosh – ‘mortal/man’ and implies dependence and sickliness; neither Seth nor his son would bring the hope mankind needed.

Crying out to God

Perhaps it was at this point that the consequences of the Fall and the long road to full redemption were more appropriately realised. As mankind multiplied, so did sin. It was at this time that Genesis 4.26 says that “people began to call on the name of the Lord” – that is, they began to pray.

At its core, prayer is calling upon the name of the Lord, approaching Him for He is and trusting in faith that He will hear and answer according to His purpose. Call on Him today!

In the next month, The Angel Church is focusing on prayer and fasting and we will be posting articles to help understanding and guidance in these crucial areas. 

Hope and help…salvation

2016 was quite the year. Troubles and unexpected happenings across the world on multiple fronts. Whatever you, we, or others may or may not have suffered, regardless of the situation, there can be help. There can be hope. While we must still deal with difficulties and occasional or, in some cases, constant calamity in 2017, in looking to Christ for salvation, we will find strength. At the end of it all, Jesus wins. 

Here is a video with a reminder of this truth by Regan.

Happy New Year!